Calling: “Nathan. Oh Nathan. Where art thou?” No for real, today, more than ever, do we need bold, truth-telling God-loyal leaders in the church. No, not just loudmouthed religious folk, but men and women who love God much more than popularity. The deal on this above-noted seer? This Old Testament figure’s “brand” of prophecy was corrective, raw and pretty scary if you ask me.
And we need more like him.
In this age of church scandals, declining belief and overall lessening respect for Christianity, true prophets must be bold and loyal enough (to God) to tell leaders when they’re not in place. Nathan-like prophets deal with the ugly stuff that don’t nobody wanna say:
- You lie too much
- Your attitude sucks
- You’re taking advantage of your followers
- You’re living like a hypocrite
Gulp, the last two were Nathan’s specialty. Problem is, it seems there aren’t many prophetic cats around who are willing to speak with the same gutsiness. Either that or their “Davids” are too arrogant to listen.
In our subject’s day, a handsome and well-liked king needed to hear the stank, nasty truth about himself and his dirty deeds with a certain soldier’s superbad chick. Yep, Bathsheba, the baddest of the land. Ok, you got me. The Bible doesn’t say that, but she had to be to take down a king. Anyhoo, David just had to have her. From jumpstreet, David knew he was all kinds of wrong for lustin’ after Uriah’s wife and luring her over to his den. Then, he does the unthinkable and gets her husband killed to try and hide his tracks.
Super trifling if you ask me
::Cue the superhero music:: In walks Nathan with the reality check his buddy, the King desperately needed. Like a good servant of God, he looks past the offender’s position and stature, eyes him squarely and lets him have it.
You are that man. In other words, David, you are living foul. FOUL. Get it together.
Thankfully, King David, the worshipper, warrior and lover of God, responds correctly with heartfelt and broken repentance. He was probably scared too. Good call, King.
I’m not telling you anything new. You know this story. We all do.
Preachers often use this tale to hone in on the importance of repentance before God or even or promoting “good behavior” (as David ended up losing the child born to Bathsheba). However, the churchgirl in me keeps thinking of another interpretation.
What if David had never repented?
What would have happened if Nathan had been too impressed with the King or too eager to remain in his good graces and closed his eyes to David’s murder/adultery case?
David may have lost his kingdom. He may have lost his life. David would have probably been another Sampson. Undone. Jacked up…you get it.
Not sure if you noticed, but The Lord’s response to David, even after he begs for forgiveness wasn’t a warm and fuzzy one. Look:
The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die. (2 Samuel 12: 14 NIV)
Just think about this in terms of today’s scandal-ridden church. (Yeah, yeah, many of the stories are untrue/yet to be proven, but we know some are real). Could it be that someone that God sent to be a “Nathan” is too worried about losing a position to speak up?
All right. So, you’re a “Prophet to the Nations” (church folks phrase) and can see waaaaaaaaaaaaaay into peoples’ futures, foretell catastrophic events and give people life-saving words of wisdom and you didn’t know your Bishop was running a Ponzi scheme? Yes you did. You just didn’t want to say nuthin.’ You saw the condoms in his briefcase. You saw her spending too much time with that married parishioner with no one else around. You knew that under-aged kid wasn’t lying. We can get mad at Penn State, but say nothing to the church? Nope, this ain’t right. Not one bit. You knew that some of the things you were seeing, feeling and sensing were skrange, yet you did and said nothing, all for fear of “touching God’s anointed.”
Well, let me tell you this, if the body doesn’t speak up about innerchurchfoolery, the authorities will. And the news. And the court system. Police and all them other folks.
Why let that happen?
People may get mad at you. Your Pastor may even fire you, but real talk, if they’re dishonoring Jehovah, He’s ultimately going to fire them. And you’re still accountable.
To sum it up, I’m not advocating or even slightly suggesting disrespect or trying to embarrass leadership, only hoping that the church will remember that it’s not only the sheep who need to be adjusted. In fact, there’s a bigger consequence for leaders who knowingly use others, live dishonest lives and fake the funk. See: tragic stories of Saul and Eli.
So, maybe when we sheep see, hear or sense things that give us the *tinglies,* instead of opting for silence, we should write a letter, confront a leader closer to them or approach them yourself (prayerfully). Yeah, it’s weird (speaking from experience here), but really all you’re doing is pushing them closer to God anyway. Isn’t that what we all want?
What the Word Says:
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
- 1 Corinthians 9:27 (English Standard Version)